8ULENTINA, Motoko & Myers, and Lexagon: Oakland artists expand the sound of electronic
Power pop meets shoegaze by TONER, extended psych jams from a trio of SF recording engineers, and two hours of Tower of Power playing at the Fox
I don’t have anything to report on, so I’ll just say thank you for subscribing. If you ever have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to hit me up by replying to this email. Take care of yourself—and don’t forget to support the artists you love!
THAT NEW NEW
8ULENTINA—DJ, producer, interdisciplinary artist, and co-founder of Club Chai (which closed shop in January)—released DEPARTURE, six tracks weaving through Middle Eastern-inspired beats, jungle, industrial techno, and even a little metal.
Doesn’t get more Bay than this: You can now stream “The Sideshow” by late SF rapper Ronald Fields (better known as Cougnut). Since getting a hold of the rights to her dad’s music, SF rapper Alien Mac Kitty is continuing to drop unreleased singles.
“La indiferencia ante la violencia anti-migratoria es violencia.” Mexican-American folk rock artists Renee Goust (NY) and Diana Gameros (SF) teamed up on “Our Anthem”, singing in Spanglish a reflection on ancestry and pride, immigration and borders.
Garage rock trio Hot Laundry released Shake, Slide, Twist, a fun 15-min EP of dancey rock & roll. The band will be sharing the stage with Osees, the Gories, Seth Bogart, Mummies, and many others at the upcoming Halloween Meltdown hosted by John Waters and Total Trash Productions. Listen to a playlist of the artists performing.
“What does it really mean to be cared for, caring, carefree and careful in the feminine experience?” Oakland artist Lexagon asks this question through the 13 songs on experimental soul album Feminine Care, out today on Ratskin Records.
Motoko & Myers, the collaborative project of Oakland duo Wonja Fairbrother and Daniel Letson, released their second album Colocate on Cincinnati label Soda Gong. Featuring a wide variety of sound sources—four-handed keyboard playing, 12-bit sampling, field recordings of cicadas in Kentucky and church bells in Germany—the album is an ambient techno gem.
mxmtoon (aka maia), the Oakland uke player who will be playing Outside Lands next month, released true colors. Featuring a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep,” the four-song EP is featured in new graphic adventure video game Life Is Strange: True Colors.
SF chill hip hop duo ON TILT released The 5th Album, featuring QM and Luke Sick on the mic and tracks produced by Bank Notes.
Oakland rappers Prada Mack and ALLBLACK released new single “Toast It Up.”
I guess Too $hort isn’t too bummed about the Raiders leaving. The legendary Bay Area rapper (along with Ice Cube, Ne-Yo, DJ Nina 9, and Rayven Justice) tries to unite Oakland, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas on the new laidback track “Raider Colors.”
SF rapper 24kGoldn appears on the poppy “A-O-K”, the newest single from viral TikTok songwriter Tai Verdes.
If the fact that they tagged the album “90’s male oriented” annoys you, then this probably isn’t for you. But that’s kinda what it sounds like.
Released in January, Soft Opening is the debut album by Terry Gross, a rock trio composed of guitarist Phil Manley (Trans Am), bassist Donny Newenhouse, and drummer Phil Becker. Owners and engineers at El Studio in SF, the three ended up improvising and having fun playing music in the studio, ultimately resulting in the three recordings on this new album. The first two tracks are 19 and 13 minutes long, respectively, mixing the maximalist psychedelia of Boredoms with the nostalgia of alternative radio rock. Then the last track (a short six minutes) closes things off with a driving beat and anthemic vocals. Overall, worth a listen for psych rock fans.
Still bummed that Stern Grove Festival had to cancel its last summer show? Alongside Too $hort, the horns-heavy Oakland group Tower of Power was supposed to grace the stage of the summer concert series for its grand finale, but alas.
As a consolation, you can listen to this nearly two-hour-long live album the group released in March. Recorded over two nights in 2018 in downtown Oakland, 50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theater captures Tower of Power celebrating their half a century of funky soul and R&B.
I always knew the name but had never listened to them. (For some reason, I always associated them in my head with ZZ Top, which doesn’t make any sense.) But when my wife told me that she used to love seeing them play fairs and festivals in the East Bay when she was a teenager, I decided to dig in. Conclusion? It’s a dance party, and one that’s fun for the whole family!
If you ever want to press play on the growing list of artists covered on White Crate, follow this Spotify playlist. Shuffle and crossfade recommended!